The time which I mean to cover runs from 1911 to 1924, from my doctorate to my research on fixed points. At the time I was on the faculties of the Universities of Nebraska (two years) and Kansas (eleven years). As was the case for almost all our scientists of that day my mathematical isolation was complete. This circumstance was most valuable in that it enabled me to develop my ideas in complete mathematical calm. Thus I made use most uncritically of early topology à la Poincaré, and even of my own later developments. Fortunately someone at the Académie des Sciences (I always suspected Emile Picard) seems to have discerned "the harpoon for the whale" with pleasant enough consequences for me.

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